Here is a wonderful testimonials that I received regarding The Bully Proof Classroom radio show that I do on blogtalkradio. If you would like to be interviewed on my show please do not hesitate to contact me through this website. Just click on the tab contact at the top. The interviewee was Tiffany Haisten a dynamic teacher who has some great ideas on how to combat the problem of bullying that we face in our families, schools, and communities. Listen here:
The Bully Proof Classroom is an engaging and thought provoking talk show. Jim Burns is informative and provides meaningful insight to the problems that teachers and parents face daily. The Bully Proof Classroom gives straightforward advice to the bullying epidemic that is swamping the nation. Listeners are guaranteed to hear honest and uncensored common sense discussions. Guests on the Bully Proof Classroom are allowed to bring real world situations to the table and share proactive tips on parenting in this “post-modern” world. Jim Burns approaches topics that are often controversial with grace and tact; which provides the listener and guests the opportunity to hear opposing opinions without the worry of argumentative shenanigans. Jim Burns and the Bully Proof Classroom are equipping parents and educators with the resolve they need to stand up for our most precious gift – our children. I am listening…are you?
Jonathan Niese pitcher for The New York Mets just pitched a gem of a baseball game against The St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched 7.1 innings, struck out three, walked two, and allowed six hits and two runs. The Mets snapped a six game losing streak and won the game 5-2. The last 2 games that Niese pitched before this one weren’t too good. As a matter of fact he was god-awful, and he just plain stunk. They asked Niese what was different today in a post game interview and he said “I started throwing the ball over the top again, and not off to the side.” Niese’s hand position when delivering a baseball to home plate is undetectable to the naked eye, but his pitching coach Dan Warthen noticed the difference and corrected it. Hold your left hand out in front of you with your palm facing toward someone or something. Now turn your hand at the wrist one inch to the left. Once Niese brought his hand back to the right his delivery to home plate improved. That little one inch move to the left made the difference in Niese being a winner today and a loser the last two games.
Sometimes it takes a coach to help us make changes, but in reality we don’t have a coach. A life coach that is. We go through life doing things, and saying things until we find out that we are making small mistakes in our life, in our marriage or relationships, with our children, and on our jobs. The late Steven Covey put it best when he said; “Often we climb the ladder of success only to discover at the end of our life that the ladder was leaning on the wrong wall.”
We are only a compilation of what people have said to us and what people have done to us throughout our lives, and the decisions that we make or have made are based upon the imprint that we have received as a child. The way we think, the things we say, the way we act, our attitudes, and our motives are almost set in stone by the time we are just five years old. Like a computer if our brain is not programmed correctly we will believe that what we say and do is true and accurate, and our decisions in life may be based on some false conclusions that we have drawn about the world and the people in it. Jon Niese didn’t even notice the very small repositioning of his hand on the ball; he thought that his mechanics were fine and couldn’t understand why he was pitching so poorly. As adults we don’t notice the small things that we do or say that could be rude, discourteous, or just plain inconsiderate, and believe that we are doing just fine. We have a hard time trying to understand why we keep losing at the game of life. The coach told Niese about his mechanical error, other people tell us about our shortcomings and the things we don’t see or even realize. These are our blind spots. Niese adjusted, can we? Truly, the big stuff is the small stuff.
Oh yeah, I was an overweight little boy. So much so, that when my mother took me to buy clothes I went to what I thought was a special clothing store for boys like me, fat. Why did I think this? Because when I walked into the store, the opened tie, crossed arm, wrinkled shirt, cigarette smoking salesman, took one look at me from head to toe, looked at my mother, pointed to the back of the store and said, “Husky.” Gee did I feel special, until I discovered that the store I was in was one of the only stores around that sold clothes for fat kids. Sure, I said it, for fat kids, because that’s how I felt like a fat kid, and that’s how I was treated. Special stores for special kids who were fat. My skinny friends bought clothes from all kinds of stores; I was relegated to one store, and one style. I certainly was not one of the cool kids, and at times felt isolated and excluded.
My dad who was a baseball fan encouraged me to try out for little league. I remember during one game, I struck out, thought I walked and ran to third base. A laughing stock; but, my biggest humiliation was not the fact that I didn’t understand the rules of the game but rather, not having a uniform that fit. Why? They didn’t make Husky. I liked and still like baseball, but I was uncool. I was uncool until I was in the seventh grade and attending a Catholic grammar school. We were playing a pick-up game out on the blacktop I and hit a softball about 300 feet. Out of the blue I was cool. During the winter of 1968-69 I lost weight, worked out and got into great physical condition, and in the spring played baseball with anyone who wanted to play. Throughout my teen years I played baseball in The Joe Medwick League, The Babe Ruth League, High School, and American Legion Leagues. Was I that good? No, but I knew how to compete. I could have been better, but I lacked confidence. I still felt the exclusion of the tag that was pinned on me when I was seven years old, Husky.
Kids become overweight for a variety of reason; poor self-control, introduction of a poor diet, anxiety, and comfort, to name a few. Clothes are now made for kids of all shapes and sizes. Clothes should not define a kid, but our society and our culture create such clothes competition that socioeconomic status is defined by the types of clothes kids’ wear causing rumors, gossip, and ridicule in school. Kids don’t know but they should know that they can’t judge a book by its cover and they can’t use clothes as a benchmark for who they choose as friends, and who they associate with.
I have two daughters who have bought a variety of clothes from a variety of stores. When they were younger they always wanted designer clothes and as teenagers lost weight to wear the fashion conscience clothes that their peers wore. Now, they buy clothes from Target or Wal-Mart because frankly designer clothes are too expensive and they just don’t really care anymore. But, when they were younger the true reason they lost weight to wear designer clothes was because designer’s force exclusion by manufacturing clothing that fits only up to size ten. My daughters were not even close to being overweight, and still they had trouble buying designer clothes.
Abercrombie and Fitch have just crossed the line by redefining the word Husky. If you are Husky, shop somewhere else because we don’t make clothes for plump kids. Why? Because cool has been defined as skinny, and those who are not skinny are just uncool. They are encouraging kids strange as it may seem to exclude their peers because of clothes competition and body type. Exclusion is one of the worst forms of bullying that kids experience today. The isolation and the loneliness kids feel is horrific. The hit that a child’s self-esteem takes because of exclusion can last a lifetime. The brainwashing that our kids are experiencing today by the media is going to impact them and possibly their children. We can’t allow our children to isolate, exclude, bully, or harass others because of race, creed, color, or religion. But, truly we can’t allow the subliminal seduction by Abercrombie and Fitch, along with other clothing manufacturers that is redefining us as a culture going forward which is affecting the well being of our children for just being Husky.
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There is a lot of talk about bullying these days, and it seems as though the epidemic is getting worse and worse. The more we talk about it and bring attention to the bullying and suicides, the more often they occur. It’s like bullying and suicide have become trends.
So what is this?
My observation is that everything in this universe is cyclical, spinning and spinning and creating its own momentum.
The sky absorbs water from the earth, rain then falls and lands back on the earth, only to be absorbed again and turn into rain again.
Rain is the cause of Rain.
A person is teased and ridiculed by another person, he then ridicules and hates himself, thus causing him to hate, tease, and ridicule other people.
Bullying is the cause of Bullying.
And then there is another cycle I see…
A students reads from a textbook in school and learns all about the wars that have been fought in the world throughout history. Meanwhile, he is told that there is a zero-tolerance policy for violence in school, and if he should break that rule, he will be punished. However, as soon as that student turns 18 and graduates, he can go to war – sometimes against his own will – and be given a gun to fight… This war in which he partook will then be written about in textbooks, to be discussed in school throughout the years to come.
What kind of message are we sending to our children?
It seems a bit mixed and hypocritical to me…
Bullying is a heated topic for discussion nowadays. We talk about the bully as the antagonist, the victim of bullying as the protagonist, the parents of the victim who are reluctant to send their children to school… The other day, I even saw a commercial for a new online schooling program, that is available to students who are being bullied, so that they do not have to go to school in person anymore…. What are we doing?!
Let’s talk about the issue. Let’s talk about who is hurting here.
The victim? Yes. Who is the victim?
Our first answer to this would most likely be, “The child who is being bullied, of course!” And yes, I agree. That child is a victim. But who else?
The bully. The bully is hurting.
“Hurt people hurt people”
– Will Bowen
It’s all a cycle. The child who is initially hurting the most, is the bully.
So now what do we do?
Does it still make sense to simply instill a non-violence policy in school?
Does it still make sense to simply punish the child who breaks the rules?
We need to show compassion and love to the child who is hurting so much, that he has to hand his negative energy to another child, as if to say, “Please. Let me just share my hurt with you, so that I don’t have to bare the burden all by myself. It’s all I have to give.”
Rain is the cause of Rain. Bullying is the cause of Bullying. And guess what else?
Love is the cause of Love.
Why is it that every time a school shooting occurs that everyone who knows or knew the perpetrator identifies him/her as a troubled person who was reclusive and exhibited all manner of anti social behavior? Never fails. Here are some of the comments that have been made about Adam Lanza the perpetrator who entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut and opened fire on December 15, 2012 killing 26 people, 20 of them were children.
“Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old,” said Tim Dalton, a neighbor and former classmate, on Twitter. “As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised.”
“This was a deeply disturbed kid,” a family insider said. “He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts from what I recall.”
A further family friend said he had acted as though he was immune to pain.
“A few years ago when he was on the baseball team, everyone had to be careful that he didn’t fall because he could get hurt and not feel it,” said the friend. “Adam had a lot of mental problems.”
“It was almost painful to have a conversation with him, because he felt so uncomfortable,” said Olivia DeVivo, who sat behind him in English. “I spent so much time in my English class wondering what he was thinking.”
“He didn’t fit in with the other kids.” “He was very, very shy. He wouldn’t look you in the eyes when he talked. He didn’t really want to lock eyes with you for very long.”
It’s almost as if everybody knows, but nobody cares, or maybe they do care but really don’t know what to do. They continue to walk amongst us being spoken about as weird by neighbors and family members who wish they could take a peak into their secret life and discover what conclusions they have drawn about life. Who or what are they angry at, and what measures will they take to get even with the world maybe for just being born.
Revenge: the greatest motivator known to mankind. It’s been around since Cain and Abel affecting those who have been victimized by life, either physically, emotionally, or mentally. The problem is the victims get even with the wrong people.According to the United States Secret Service since 1999 thirty seven of the school shootings that have occurred have been carried out by those who were victims of bullying.
Bullies are motivated and driven by power, victims are motivated by revenge. Victims are compilers. They compile information about people who have victimized them and about their inabilities to speak or act with confidence. They do this until their cup just plain runs over. The pain has to go somewhere which is why after the victim exacts his revenge he/she will usually take their own life.
“There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s a man with a gun over there. Telling me I’ve got to beware.” For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield